Patriots

Brady: 'Gotta be careful about who you double' in Patriots offense

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Brady: 'Gotta be careful about who you double' in Patriots offense

HOUSTON -- Though Tom Brady played just 17 snaps on Saturday against the Texans, and though he got his offense into the end zone just once in an abbreviated night of work, his team's second preseason game served as a reminder that the Patriots have a surplus of weaponry. 

Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis looked dynamic. Rob Gronkowski impacted coverage even when he wasn't targeted. Brandin Cooks was in uniform for the first time and caught a pass from Brady. Malcolm Mitchell saw plenty of work with Jimmy Garoppolo. James O'Shaughnessy looked like a viable third option at tight end. 

That's not even mentioning players like James White, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Dwayne Allen (all of whom are healthy) or Mike Gillislee (who is still working his way back from injury). 

The variety of options Brady can lean on in a given week, the matchups he and Josh McDaniels will try to dictate by using certain personnel groupings and formations, will be an every-evolving storyline over the course of the 2017 season. And Brady knows it.

"I think that’s what makes a great offense, having a lot of versatility," Brady said after the game. "I’ve said for a long time, I throw where the guys are open. If they double someone, everyone else is singled across the board, so you’ve just got to be careful about who you double. If we’ve got the right play call against a certain defense, it’s tough to stop us.

"We were decent out there, obviously had quite a few mistakes we’ve got to clean up, but it’s a good defense. We’re going to see them quickly. We had a good week of practice against them. It was a lot of fun . . . It will be a little bit different next time we play them."

Next time Brady and the Patriots see the Texans will be in Week 3, which will pit one of the league's most amorphous offenses against one of its best defenses.

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

The New England Patriots just got whole lot of financial breathing room.

The Patriots have earned a total of $6.25 million in settlements from compensation grievances involving former wide receiver Antonio Brown and ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez, ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported Saturday.

New England now has $7.79 million in cap space, per Reiss and Yates, a huge bump from the less than $500,000 in spending money the team had earlier this week.

Brown, who spent less than two weeks with the Patriots last September, filed a grievance against the team in October 2019 following his release seeking to receive his unpaid Week 1 salary, his $1.025 million guaranteed base salary and his $9 million signing bonus.

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The Patriots will pay Brown $5 million as part of the settlement, per Reiss and Yates.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf in October 2013 seeking over $6 million in guaranteed salary. Hernandez was arrested and later convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and died in prison in April 2017.

New England was up against the cap after squeezing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton in on a one-year contract and inking all of its 2020 NFL Draft picks to rookie deals. With nearly $8 million in cap space, however, the Patriots have more flexibility to bolster their roster via free agency or trade.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran suggested tight end David Njoku could be a strong fit in New England after requesting a trade from the Cleveland Browns, and there are a number of quality free agents still on the market, as well.

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

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In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.